Week One

I am super excited to have the opportunity to be living in Newport Oregon this summer!
For the next nine weeks I will be working with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to develop new outreach material regarding Pacific Rockfish conservation and the use of descending devices.  I will be using this blog to share my experiences while on the Oregon coast, both at work and recreating.   This is my first time living near an ocean, having grown up in the Chicago area and attending university in Michigan.  I intend to use the next nine weeks to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
My time with ODFW has gotten off to a great start!  Last Friday I was able to volunteer my time with ODFW’s rockfish PIT tagging crew.  As a volunteer it was my responsibility to catch as many Black Rockfish as possible with a rod and reel.  Having never fished the ocean before I was skeptical as to whether or not I would be able to catch any fish.  However, after just a short time of fishing I caught my first Black Rockfish and by the end of the seven hours I had caught nine fish in total. I feel the boat captain deserves a lot of the credit though, considering he’s the one that had to find where the fish may be lurking under water.
Yesterday, some of the other residents at Hatfield and I were treated to a special tour of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.  The guide took us behind the scenes to see where they culture jellyfish and brine shrimp as well as the pinniped training pools.  Lucky for us, as we arrived two of the harbor seals were just beginning their training session.  It was the cutest thing to see the seals bounce around the pool deck on their bellies.  My favorite exhibit at the aquarium was the Passages of the Deep, where visitors walked through a tunnel surrounded by rockfish, sharks and other deep sea life found off the coast of Oregon.
Mother Nature planned an additional surprise for my first week on the coast as well, a tide of -2.38 on Sunday morning.  So a fellow Hatfield resident and I went tide pooling at seal rock.  The rocks were covered with green anemones, starfish and mussels.  The mussels made the rocks seem alive, hissing and wheezing whenever they were disturbed.  Tucked between rocks where purple shore crabs and sea sponges and when we looked closely through the sea grass we even found a nudibranch (a fantastically colored sea slug)!
With such a successful first week I am really looking forward to the rest of the summer.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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One thought on “Week One

  1. Wow, you wasted no time at all getting out on the water (and on to the beach)! Good for you. The shark tunnel is also my favorite part of the aquarium. Did you catch any other species of fish besides black rockfish?

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